André Watts burst upon the music world at age sixteen when Leonard Bernstein chose him to make his debut with the New York Philharmonic on one of the orchestra’s Young People’s Concerts, which was broadcast nationwide. More than fifty years later, Watts remains one of today’s most celebrated and beloved superstars.
Watts has had a long and frequent association with television, having appeared on numerous programs produced by PBS, the BBC, and the Arts and Entertainment Network. His 1976 New York recital, aired on the program Live From Lincoln Center, was the first full length recital broadcast in the history of television, while his performance at the thirty-eighth Casals Festival in Puerto Rico was nominated for an Emmy Award in the category of Outstanding Individual Achievement in Cultural Programming. Watts’ extensive discography includes recordings for CBS Masterworks, Angel/EMI, Telarc, Philips, and Sony Classical. At age twenty-six, Watts was the youngest person to ever receive an Honorary Doctorate from Yale University. He has been the recipient of an Avery Fisher Prize and the United States National Medal of Arts. In 2004, Watts was appointed to the Jack I. and Dora B. Hamlin Endowed Chair in Music at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, and in 2006, he was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl of Fame.